Russian Plane bursts into Flames after Emergency landing at Moscow
- by ishani-panda
- May 08, 2019 18:02
Forty-one people on board a Russian passenger jet were killed, including at least two children, after the aircraft crash-landed at a Moscow airport on Sunday, bursting into flames on impact and bouncing down the runway.
Aeroflot flight SU 1492 skidded down the runway at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport, its rear section ablaze and spilling thick, black smoke.Once the plane had come to a halt, passengers escaped using emergency slides from the plane's two forward doors, before running away from the burning aircraft.Initial reports said the Superjet 100 was flying from Moscow to Murmansk, a Russian city in the Arctic circle, when an emergency on board forced it to turn back.
Russia's Interfax news agency reported that a "loss of communication" caused by a "lightning strike" had led to the decision to return to Sheremetyevo. No official cause has yet been provided for the disaster.A Russian law enforcement agency, the Investigative Committee,reported that 40 passengers and one crew member lost their lives. There were 78 people on the plane.Flightradar24, which tracks transponders on airplanes, showed the jet looping once in the air before landing. Russian news agencies said the pilots landed on their second attempt.
Dozens of people, if not hundreds, witnessed the crash from inside the terminal, where waiting areas and restaurants offer expansive views of the runways.
“Right in front of our eyes, we saw an airplane on fire streaking down the runway,” Ms. Osokina, who was in an airport restaurant, told Dozhd television.
“It was in the grips of flames,” she said. “Flames were devouring it every second,” she said.
The Russian-made Sukhoi Superjet belonged to national carrier Aeroflot and was carrying 73 passengers and five crew members.
Safety concerns with the Sukhoi Superjet, Russia’s first newly designed post-Soviet passenger plane, emerged soon after its introduction in 2008. Dozens of employees at the Siberia plant were found to have faked their university engineering diplomas.
In 2012, a Superjet crashed into a mountain in Indonesia during a sales demonstration flight carrying 37 aviation executives and journalists, and eight crew members, killing all aboard. An investigation cited pilot error.
In 2016, Russian safety regulators grounded the fleet after discovering metal fatigue, usually a problem associated with older airplanes, in the tail section of a Sukhoi jet. Russian aviation officials have said the plane had no more than the typical teething problems of a new aircraft.
Aeroflot, the Russian national airline, has worked hard to overcome its once-poor safety image. Safety woes shadowed the company in the immediate post-Soviet period. In 1994, for example, a pilot let his 16 year old son fly an Airbus that promptly crashed, killing all 75 aboard.
Recently, however, the airline has operated one of Europe’s newest fleets of passenger jets.